The tightrope walk of recovery.

Minus only a couple bad days with food over the last year, I’ve been about as recovered as any anorexic could ever hope to be.  When we hear someone say “recovered” we tend to think that they’re are back to normal with their illness far behind them.  I wish that’s what I meant, but sadly it’s not.  No, recovered means that it’s still with me constantly in the way I must monitor my environment every day, in how I must check in with those close to me who monitor me to let them know exactly what’s going through my mind (and that I’m still eating), etc.  What it means to be recovered is that through all these tools I’m no longer starving myself, but that’s as close to normalcy as I can get so I’m just tickled pink with it.

Being recovered also means weight gain.  That’s like getting a shot as a kid: it sucks to deal with, but you know it produces better health so you roll with it.  But lately I’ve gotten a little heavier than I care for and wanted to lose weight.  The very first day I began monitoring my caloric intake I could immediately feel the all-too-familiar wave of resentment toward food wash over me.  Sure, my mind said, if you ate the way you planned you could lose one pound per week, but you can trim back more and lose even more weight!  Food quickly began to feel like the enemy again, and this was no more pronounced than when I stepped on the scale.

Boy, did that ever produce the kind of nostalgia one generally tries to avoid.  I recall my obsession with the scale, of being owned by it.  I treated the scale like smokers treat their habit, by taking breaks from my work ten or more times a day to go get my fix on the scale.

Solution: control my environment.  Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, I focused on the numbers of what I was putting into my body.  How many cups of milk, how many ounces of chicken, etc.  Spread sheets galore!  :)  It’s all about losing weight healthily without giving up, but also without letting the demon in the back of my skull pull me back in.  It’s a strained, and slightly frightening balancing act, but one that’s working.  It’s the same strategy as always: know what you’re facing, plan around it, and stick to the plan.

Today I stepped back on the scale for the first time in two weeks.  I lost three pounds, which is a healthy rate of weight loss (if you’re losing more than two pounds per week, that’s bad).  Rock on!  See you in another two weeks, scale.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    That makes me happy. Here’s to your continued health, and thanks for sharing this. It isn’t something I entirely understand, might not be capable of understanding, as I’ve not dealt with this. Reading this helps me understand how these disorders can effect people.

  • neatospiderplant

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Congratulations on your 3 pound loss, and extra congratulations that you were able to do it in a healthy and safe manner.

    Don’t stop being awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.j.brooks Amber JB

    Keep moving forward JT! Being healthy is the way to be, and remember its not a diet but a lifestyle! Lots of love, Amber.


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